Have you ever had a client come to you with vague goals? When they simply state that they want their site to rank better or that they want more contact us form submissions, it's important for you to determine a baseline starting point before you begin any optimization. If you don't have any measure for where they're starting from, it will be exceedingly difficult for you to prove how awesome you are after you complete your optimization efforts.
The measurement methods described below will allow you to communicate with your client exactly how much your work has improved their site.
This list does not include third-party measurements such as Pagerank, Alexa or Siterank. These external measures are too easy to fake, providing false results. Frankly, having a high Pagerank comes naturally after doing a lot of hard work in other areas -- it's not a measurement that in and of itself should be used to determine how successful your site is.
Increasing Conversion Percentage
Every site that you work with needs to establish a primary goal. Perhaps it's making a shopping cart purchase, perhaps it's having a user complete a contact us form. The conversion percentage of that action is a key measurement for you to pay close attention to.
Google Analytics is the easiest tool to use for tracking conversions, although for small projects Website Optimizer is a good utility as well. For complicated multi-step processes like shopping carts, Analytics is the preferred measurement tool over Website Optimizer.
By tracking the rankings of keywords as they rise and fall over time you can measure your link building efforts. If success for your client means that you need to be on the first page of Google for a particular term, it's important to know if the site ever enters or exits that realm of success. Here's a full list of utilities to help you track keyword rankings.
Optimization does not have to be limited to on-site efforts. Improving clickthrough percentage from the SERPs is a worthwhile task. By working to improve individual page titles (and even seemingly minor details like meta description), you can indeed work to improve the clickthrough percentage of visitors searching for your target terms.
Tracking Phone Calls
The ability to track conversions or leads from phone calls is not the nebulous task that it used to be. The emergence of Google Voice means that creating a unique phone number for any particular advertising campaign is a simple task. Creating too many numbers can quickly become overwhelming though, so you'll need to segment your campaigns wisely. Head here for more information on tracking phone calls.
I hope that these tracking techniques can help you to quantify your optimization efforts in the future.
Will Reinhardt is the administrator at SEO Keyword Ranking, where he helps SEO professionals track their keyword rankings over time.
One thought on “4 Ways to Quantify Optimization”
I expect to be at the 2010 conference in Toronto. The landscape of SEO certainly has changed. The inbound marketing field has certainly changed in not only the ways it is done, but also the scope at which SEO now entails. As you all know the face of the net is heading into a social media-sphere and if you are not on top of it all you will be left behind. Now more than ever SEO gurus are using the social media-scape to build an SEO presence for their clients. Truth be known, the inbound marketing strategies for the most part are still very similar in that you still need on-page SEO done correctly, but now one needs to include widgets that will exploit the social sphere. On top of this fact it is becoming standard to be directly involved in the social media as well. Simply look at the tag cloud on any major SEO page shows me SOCIAL MEDIA is huge followed by SEO and Twitter. If that doesn’t tell you this is truth I do not know what else to tell you.
Content is still king, but the playing field is now multi-dimensional and you have to play every field to stay in the game.
Get in the game or be left behind!
Randy Comeau – nuMantis Technology Solutions – Windsor, ON
.-= Randy Comeau recently posted: Business Virtualization in 2010 =-.
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